Love Island is a cultural phenomenon, whether you like it or not, but ITV recently came under fire from fans, psychologists, plastic surgeons and even the Chief Executive of NHS England for the showing of plastic surgery adverts during the breaks.
Simon Stevens of the NHS stated that breast augmentation adverts shown during Love Island advert breaks are fuelling a crisis in the mental health of young people who are already prey to body image issues.
“If you look at the increasing pressures on young people around eating disorder services, we have to think about the whole environment in which children are being exposed to.
“Some of that is social media but even if you take a show like – look at the adverts that are being shown alongside. You have got explicit ads aiming at young women around breast – cosmetic – surgery. That is all playing into a set of pressures around body image that are showing up.”
This is compounded by the fact that many of the stars of the programme are open about the amount of cosmetic work they have done, from veneers, to fillers to rhinoplasties and it is estimated that one of the islanders may have spent up to £30,000 on cosmetic enhancements. It’s not just women being affected – every male contestant is sporting an enviable six-pack, resulting in male viewers becoming increasingly body conscious.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), of which Mr Vik Vijh is a member, has also come out in condemnation of this form of advertising. “The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons has previously spoken out to condemn the proliferation of reality shows which glamourise cosmetic surgery procedures.
“We are seeing the damaging effects of this cultural phenomenon on an increasingly vulnerable population, whereby the decision to seek out treatment is trivialised whilst individuals face intense psychological pressure to conform. By advertising cosmetic surgery alongside this type of programming – and in some instances, even using the stars of the show – unscrupulous clinics are targeting young people in a way that commodifies surgery as a quick fix and endangers patients.”
Cosmetic surgery, done well and for the right reasons, can be a positive, life-enhancing choice for patients. No one should feel constrained to undergo aesthetic enhancement, whether that is due to pressure from a partner or from being influenced by a television show. If you want to discuss your motivations to have cosmetic surgery and receive honest, unbiased advice from a medical professional, organise a consultation with a reputable and experienced cosmetic surgeon.